DEFINITION of 'General Public Distribution'
A type of primary market offering in which the securities being issued are available to anyone who has the ability to purchase them. This differs from conventional public distributions of securities in which underwriting investment banks sell large blocks of the issued securities to large investors.
BREAKING DOWN 'General Public Distribution'
If you take part in a general public distribution of securities, you are participating in what is called the primary market: you are buying securities directly from the issuing company, and your funds go to it to finance its business activities. This is in contrast to the secondary market, where investors buy and sell securities from each other, with funds moving back and forth from investor to investor without involving the underlying company at all.